Today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, Anže Logar, officially opened the 6th Forum of the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR), which is the final act of the one-year presidency of Slovenia Strategy and Adriatic Region – Initiative Jon. In his speech, Minister Logar stressed that Slovenia, despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, managed to achieve all the set goals and introduce some innovations. “Only connected and environmentally responsible can we contribute to the green and smart development and recovery of the Union,” Logar said.
“The red thread of the Slovenian Presidency last year has been a green link. “The joint effort for a green and smart recovery after the pandemic also applies to the countries of the Western Balkans, which participate equally in the Strategy, which is an important contribution to the EU enlargement policy,” Logar said.
Within the forum, Logar hosted a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Adriatic-Ionian member states, at which the Isolation Declaration was adopted. The foreign ministers agreed that a common European response and cooperation between the countries of the Adriatic-Ionian region is essential for the social and economic recovery following the pandemic. The Izola Declaration places particular emphasis on the commitment of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (PIU) or EUSAIR member countries to the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries and their stability, economic development and strengthening of democratic institutions. Special attention was paid to the importance of good neighborly relations and political dialogue between members as a way of resolving open issues. The focus is also on the situation of the younger generation, which is among the most affected during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the first time, the Slovenian Presidency will award the honorary title of Ambassador of Macro-Regional Strategies “Windmill of Excellence” to six individuals from the participating countries, representatives of civil society, who contribute more to the expansion of macro-regional cooperation. Prizes will also be awarded to the best among young people who have participated in a nationwide competition in entrepreneurial ideas.
Together with EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform Alice Ferreiro, Secretary of State in the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy Monica Kirbis and the representative of the incoming presidency, Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka, Logar attended a press conference in region.
This year, the Forum will be held on 11 and 12 May 2021, in a hybrid form under the motto “Along the shores of the common sea”. It mainly aims to present the essential achievements of the individual pillars of EUSAIR, the adoption of a joint statement with the main policy guidelines for further work and the transfer of the presidency to the other country, viz. Albania.